In a departure from his party's initial coyness in naming NCP leaders and fellow Maharashtrians Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel for price rise and the IPL issue, BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said the two were more interested in cricket than in farmers' problems.
Addressing a mammoth farmers' rally in Patel's Lok Sabha constituency here, Gadkari said 'Purti' an NGO run by him had
bought the local non-functional Wainganga Cooperative Sugar factory recently to generate employment for the youth of the region and to make farmers debt-free.
"Government wants to know who will run this sugar factory. Leaders from here are more interested in cricket than
in running a sugar factory, half-clad girls during the matches. Rashtrawadi (a reference to NCP) leaders Sharad Pawar
and Praful Patel are more interested in cricket than problems of farmers, the unemployed and the poor," Gadkari said.
Till now BJP leaders have focused their criticism of price rise and even the IPL issue on the Congress-led UPA
For rising prices of essential commodities, the main opposition has maintained that the whole Manmohan Singh
cabinet and especially the Prime Minister himself- being a renowned economist- is responsible.
Gadkari said the two NCP leaders were watching cricket in floodlights at night while there was load-shedding up to 24
hours in the Vidharba region.
"If you vote for us (BJP), I assure you that if I do not stop power load-shedding in two years, I will quit politics.
Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel are watching cricket at night in floodlight. There it is Twenty-Twenty and here it is
(power-cut) 24x24 (hours)," Gadkari said.
The BJP President also took a swipe at Congress President Sonia Gandhi for "failing" to remove poverty and give adequate power supply to people despite making these promises during polls.
"You all said Sonia aayi hai, roshni laayi hai (Sonia has come, she has brought power). Congress said garibi hatao
(remove poverty) but population of people below poverty line has actually increased by 41 crore," he claimed.